David Bowie | Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)

Call “Sue (Or In a Season of Crime)” the David Bowie meets Ornette Coleman phase. Bowie’s dipped into jazzy territories over the years, including the “This Is Not America” (1984) soundtrack for the film “The Falcon and the Snowman”, recorded with the Pat Metheny Group and the 1993 album “Black Tie/White Noise”. This time around, “Sue”, a nearly seven-and-a-half minute breakdown of jazz conventions, is a wild orchestral ride, free-flowing and hyperkenetic. It was created with American record producer and collaborator Tony Visconti. The song is set to highlight Bowie’s monstrous three-disc career-spanning compilation “Nothing Has Changed: The Very Best of Bowie”, due out Nov. 17 on Parlophone in the UK, with the U.S. version to be released the next day via Columbia. The songs will cover everything from his 1964 debut, “Liza Jane”, through to the this new recording. The song was co-written with composer-pianist Maria Schneider. The song opens with a pulsing bass beat, dynamic jazz that feels like improvisation, and “Sue, I got the job / We’ll buy the house / You’ll need to rest … ” It’s really a dark, beautiful and Gothic track about sickness, death, dreams, love and betrayal. It’s an epic song that pushes the emotive and atmospheric over attempts at melody. There are hints of that dystopian feeling in the verses and music that is reminiscent of 1995’s “Outside”, one of Bowie’s finest works. — David D. Robbins Jr.

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